Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Orofacial Pain Care
Biomedical and biopsychosocial models are two approaches to health care that have been proven effective when utilized in the appropriate situation. Health-care providers must understand that chronic pain is a disease of the person and that a traditional biomedical approach cannot adequately address all of the individual pain-related physiological, psychological, and social needs of this patient population.
Chronic pain patients generally present with complex, multimodal problems that often involve two or more coexisting chronic pain conditions (e.g., chronic headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, vulvodynia, and gastric reflux disease). They often describe disturbed sleep, increased stress, anxiety, depression, and even anger resulting in a decreased quality of life. With so many overlapping factors, it makes sense that current literature supports a “whole person” approach to chronic pain diagnosis and management.
- Current literature describes various models to address chronic pain using a multimodal approach. Although they differ in areas such as organization, structure, format, and cost, they do have common core features:
A biopsychosocial approach to diagnosis and care that not only addresses the associated biology but also the psychological and social aspects of the pain condition
Providers from multiple disciplines working in an integrated fashion with shared treatment goals
Goals: to reduce effects of pain, improve function, and achieve independence from the health-care system
Multidisciplinary care involves care provided by health-care providers from several disciplines which may, or may not, be coordinated, and treatment may occur with different goals in parallel rather than an integrated approach.
Interdisciplinary care involves a team of health-care providers from different specialties that play complementary roles that when implemented together enhance patient care.
Disclosure Statement by the Author
The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private ones of the author(s) and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the view of the DoD or the USUHS. The author does not have any financial interest in the companies whose materials are discussed in this article.
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